After months of rumors, it’s official: Joaquin Phoenix is playing iconic Batman villain the Joker in a new standalone film. Warner Bros. greenlit the film with director Todd Phillips—best known for his work on The Hangover series and Old School—and although a release date has not been announced, the film could come out sometime in 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
News broke nearly a year ago that Phillips was developing a Joker-centric film that would be standalone and not part of the current DC Entertainment universe of movies, which includes films like Wonder Woman, Justice League and the upcoming Aquaman with Jason Momoa. Now, it’s in production. While things are changing on the DC side—Henry Cavill as Superman might be done, and same with Ben Affleck as Batman—the company is excited about Wonder Woman 1984 and Momoa’s Aquaman film, which hits theaters in December 2018.
The new film, co-written by Phillips and Scott Silver (8 Mile), will be a “exploration of a man disregarded by society [that] is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale,” according to THR.
Many around the Internet and movie world might be wondering: “Do we really need another Joker after Heath Ledger and Jared Leto—and another Joker movie?” The answer is probably no, but hear us out—this project might actually have the chance to be something special.
Here’s a new look at the Joker from director Todd Phillips:
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Here’s everything you need to know.